De Blasio Dismisses Moskowitz Charter Protest as ‘Sideshow’

Mayor Bill de Blasio with Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina.
Mayor Bill de Blasio with Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina.

Mayor Bill de Blasio today dismissed planned protests in Albany by charter school operators and advocates next week as a “sideshow” that he insisted would not distract from his pre-K push

Success Academy Charter School head Eva Moskowitz will be shutting down all of her schools this coming Tuesday to join more than 2,000 charter school advocates from across the state in Albany to push lawmakers to support their schools. The date happens to coincide with the new mayor’s planned descent upon Albany to convince reticent state lawmakers to support his plan to raise taxes on the city’s wealthy to fund universal pre-K and after-school programs. Continue reading “De Blasio Dismisses Moskowitz Charter Protest as ‘Sideshow’”

De Blasio Rallies Troops for Final Pre-K Push

Bill de Blasio and labor leaders pressing the mayor's signature pre-k plan.
Bill de Blasio joined by labor leaders who support his signature pre-k plan.

Mayor Bill de Blasio welcomed about 200 supporters to Gracie Mansion last night to urge them to do all they can to push his plan to raise taxes on the city’s richest residents to fund universal pre-K.

Members of the crowd, which included the Rev. Al Sharpton and other prominent clergy members, as well as labor leaders, developers, education activists and administration officials, were asked to get their friends and colleagues involved in pushing the “UPKNYC” plan to reticent Albany lawmakers, according to those in attendance. Continue reading “De Blasio Rallies Troops for Final Pre-K Push”

Cuomo on Avella’s IDC Move: ‘We’re Headed Into the Political Silly Season’

Tony Avella. (Photo: Facebook)
Tony Avella. (Photo: Facebook)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo today dismissed questions about State Senator Tony Avella’s decision to join the Independent Democratic Conference, a breakaway faction of Democratic lawmakers who control the chamber with Senate Republicans, describing the move as part of the coming “political silly season.”

“You know, the politics and turmoil of Albany, right?” remarked the governor, speaking to reporters after announcing a new deal to film a Marvel comic series in the state. “I just heard about it today. I don’t know what it means, if anything.” Continue reading “Cuomo on Avella’s IDC Move: ‘We’re Headed Into the Political Silly Season’”

‘Boy From Queens Goes to Albany’: Gov. Cuomo Ready for His Own Superhero

Governor Andrew Cuomo earlier today. (Photo: Flickr/N.Y. Governor's Office)
Governor Andrew Cuomo earlier today. (Photo: Flickr/N.Y. Governor’s Office)

Super Mario, meet Super Andrew.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo today suggested a new superhero based on his stint as governor, while taking a break from budget negotiations in Albany to announce a deal to film a new series based on the Marvel comics characters in New York. Continue reading “‘Boy From Queens Goes to Albany’: Gov. Cuomo Ready for His Own Superhero”

Bill de Blasio Sets Up Another Fight With Albany

Andrew Cuomo and Bill de Blasio together in Albany last Sunday. (Cropped photo: Rob Bennett/NYC Mayor's Office)
Andrew Cuomo and Bill de Blasio together in Albany last Sunday. (Cropped photo: Rob Bennett/NYC Mayor’s Office)

Add another item to Bill de Blasio’s Albany wish list.

The mayor this afternoon unveiled an extensive plan to minimize pedestrian traffic fatalities, the most ambitious of which would reduce the default speed on unmarked streets to 25 miles per hour, from the current 30. Continue reading “Bill de Blasio Sets Up Another Fight With Albany”

Staffing Choices Show de Blasio Approaching Albany Differently From Bloomberg

Mayor Bill de Blasio testifying in Albany. (Photo: NYC Mayor's Office)
Mayor Bill de Blasio testifying in Albany. (Photo: NYC Mayor’s Office)

When former Mayor Michael Bloomberg won mayoral control of the city’s public schools or watched his dream of a West Side stadium die in Albany, he went into battle with a team of around a half dozen people tasked specifically with lobbying the state legislature.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is now locked in a fight for an income tax hike to fund universal prekindergarten, has taken a different tack so far: Only two staffers currently work under Sherif Soliman, the head of Mr. de Blasio’s state legislative affairs office. Both are holdovers from the Bloomberg administration. Continue reading “Staffing Choices Show de Blasio Approaching Albany Differently From Bloomberg”

De Blasio Calls Clergy to Action on Pre-K Tax Plan

Mayor Bill de Blasio speaking at Bethany Baptist Church this morning.
Mayor Bill de Blasio speaking at Bethany Baptist Church this morning.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, in a rare display of anger, today railed against Albany lawmakers, slamming Senate co-leader Dean Skelos for refusing to bring to vote the mayor’s signature plan to tax the rich to fund universal pre-k and sounding a call to clergy leaders to mobilize on its behalf.

“The gauntlet’s been thrown in Albany. We will respond,” the mayor told religious leaders and elected officials gathered at the Bethany Baptist Church in Brooklyn, at a breakfast organized by the Rev. Al Sharpton to support the universal pre-K funding plan. Continue reading “De Blasio Calls Clergy to Action on Pre-K Tax Plan”